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Stereotypical Accents in Musical Theatre: A Study of Pronunciation in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cats
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Stereotypes have existed in society at least since the 18th century and differ between countries, peoples and cultures. Stereotypes can be displayed in many ways; through what people (supposedly) eat, what they wear or even how they speak. Norm theory is used in this essay to describe how people notice certain salient features of an accent and apply these salient features to all speakers of this accent, even if the features are not shared by all speakers of the accent. This essay looks at stereotypical accents in musical theatre. The study was conducted in order to find features of accents of English which may be seen as typical, or even stereotypical, of an English accent. These features may, in turn, enhance the stereotypes associated with the various characters. Two musicals were chosen for this project, namely Cats and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph). Two different recordings of each musical were chosen; an early recording of an English (UK) production (EUKCR) and a movie cast recording (MCR), which means that a total of four recordings were studied. Based on the idea (thesis) that the stereotypical accentual features were more prominent in the MCR of each musical, noticeable or particular features for each recording were noted down and compared between the two productions but also put against the character itself – in relation to the character’s social status, geographical origin or personality. The study found that the accents in the MCRs were more stereotypical than in the EUKCRs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 24 p.
Keyword [en]
Stereotype, accent, variety, norm theory, in-group, out-group, salient feature, musical, character, Cats, Joseph
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91631OAI: diva2:635055
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-07-02 Last updated: 2013-11-07Bibliographically approved

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